Opening Day was scheduled for March 26, but due to the coronavirus outbreak the start of the season has been delayed until who knows when.
And although there’s one modification that potentially could get players out competing sooner, one former Boston Red Sox pitcher doesn’t see it happening.
With the uncertainty of when the sports world will be back up and running, there has been a lot of speculation about adjustments that would allow games to take place as soon as possible. It seems unlikely that large crowds of fans will be allowed back in stadiums anytime soon, but there is another adaptation that has been floated around: wearing surgical masks during baseball games.
While the idea may seem far fetched to some, it’s already underway in South Korea. So, could it only be a matter of time before we see this implemented in Major League Baseball?
Joe Kelly doesn’t buy it.
“What about the guys who like to chew tobacco during the game?” Kelly asked on the latest episode of WEEI’s “The Bradfo Sho” podcast. “I know plenty of guys who are chewing tobacco. How are you going to spit? You’re going to have to keep going up and down, you’re going to be touching your mouth. It kind of defeats the purpose.”
Although it may seem like a minor inconvenience to non-players, it carries a lot more weight in the athletes’ eyes. So much so that they’d be willing to lose out on pay for it.
” … I think if that was a thing where they said, ‘We’re going to let you play but there are going to be no fans and surgical masks I still think some people would say no because they want to do tobacco,” Kelly continued. “They wouldn’t even take full pay. They would be like, ‘Nah, I’m good.'”
— The Bradfo Sho (@Bradfo_Sho) April 3, 2020
Of course, there’s no say as to whether this could be implemented in MLB somewhere down the road. There’s also no telling if the players would get a say in it, either. But it’s likely baseball will look different in one way or another once it’s initially back.